It was a very "quick" read and I had a fun time reading the New York accents aloud as there is a lot of dialogue in the book. Aug 24, Matthew Ciaramella rated it liked it. A decent bunch of short stories. Although, somewhat surprisingly to say the least, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets was my least favorite in the collection. Oh, for some strange reason Algeria was again mentioned in a book this summer. I don't know what it is with the place, but it seems something is calling me to Algeria. Or maybe the bigfoot aliens are leaving secret messages for me, warning me to not go to Algeria, or maybe they want me to go to Algeria to fulfill my interstellar destiny.
Jul 26, Matt rated it really liked it. Oct 27, Michael Hitchcock rated it really liked it.
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The writing here is so modern, in word choice, in structure, in topic, and in theme, everything is so modern and fresh, that it's actually quite jarring when Crane refers to things that place his stories before the automobile, before jazz music, and before citywide electric streetlights and paved roads.
He populated many of his stories in this collection with the poor and uneducated, and captured their dialogue without pandering to them or condescending.
He strove for accuracy in his retellings. In Maggie, especially, his population of the urban poor were stuck, not only in their poverty and violence, not only in their pasts, but stuck also in their language- not stupid, but also not able to express themselves fully.
Crane gave these characters repetitive language, full of passion but lacking in specific content. With these shades of meaning erased by the language- or more specifically by the lack of it, you can see how many of the feelings and mental states can begin to cloud and blur and just generally be lumped together under the most primal of these- anger.
Crane showed us a very angry place in Maggie, a place where everyone was locked in by their lack of material wealth and education, barely able to even express sympathy or regret.
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It was deep. All of the stories in this collection were equally deep, but maybe they were even more purely stories, focusing heavily on the characters and letting the characters create the story around themselves.
Where Maggie, the title piece, may have been the most purposefully designed in terms of theme and topic, and is the most well known, the others are more literary in terms of character and setting, and, in a very modern way, their meaning is hidden within the engaging story and never stated specifically. A real idiot might have some trouble getting anything out of Maggie, but any idiot could enjoy the other stories, even if they couldn't get anything deeper out of them. The Monster is a story about a young black man who works for a wealthy doctor until he is greatly disfigured rescuing the doctor's son from a fire, and it then becomes an examination of duty and obligation and the subtle social costs involved in going against popular opinion.
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- Maggie: a Girl of the Streets!
The Blue Hotel is a story about a man coming to an unfamiliar town during a snowstorm and becomes an almost new agey examination of the way your preconceptions shape your experiences. The Bride Comes to Yellow Knife starts as the sheriff of a small town goes to pick up his new bride and becomes an examination of how to wield true power. The Open Boat is a semi-autobiographical tale of survival and becomes the type of examination of meaning and purpose in a life that will ultimately end and the understanding gained by facing those questions.
But, as I said, each of these stories in engaging in character, setting, and plot, even if the reader never quite grasps what the story is ABOUT, they have plenty to chew on with very much alive characters making decisions. Stephen Crane is considered by many critics to be the father of modern American fiction. And reading these stories I understand why. But they are just good stories anyway- worth reading for non-academic reasons. Mar 27, Andrew Armstrong rated it really liked it. Poor Mrs. Johnson, she spends her life throwing three sheets to the wind only to witness her household collapse around her.
She raises Jimmie and his little sister Maggie to regard their kin with vigilence. She teaches them smashing English so that they too may communicate when push comes to shove.
Home cooked potatoes grow Jimmie into a durable chap and Maggie becomes a pretty woman. If only the devil hadn't gotten hold of Maggie, the Lord wouldn't have to redeem her soul in heaven. Poor Mr. Jo Poor Mrs. Johnson, he fights the devil for Jimmie's soul only to lose his dapper identity to hot chemical transformation. He mentors and reconciles Jimmie as he relates and minds coach duties.
Instinctively, he searches through the terrific confusion of smoke and flame so that he may pull Jimmie from harm's way. The house of fire cooks an exploding jar that reduces his face like red wine. If only the fire snake hadn't bit his face, people wouldn't have to care for his suffering. I got sidetracked. So much for finishing the blue hotel. I planned on reading during the course of an evening bus ride home, however I was left to walk home. Shenanigans followed. I plated with a PVC pipe like a Buddhist monk and slung trash from the ditch into the road.
I stopped at a stream for a drink and saw a garter snake with a slick black body and a green stripe. Green racer I called him. The sun kept me warm between signs. I did 66 push ups for every road sign at I traveled. I picked up a broken rock shaped like a banana that I used for curls as I walked into traffic. I threw the rock when I needed to cross a fence. I posted on slack barbed wire with a road sign for balance.
When I released the road sign and swung my hips toward the other side of the fence I found my balance compromised and slid my knuckle down a fence post only to catch it with my chin. I fell back from trading blows with the post onto the laptop in my back back where the screen cracked. I had my cell phone in my hood because of its reflective qualities in the twilight of night and lost it for good. Now I forgo the bus and only walk around my small hometown and use the library for electronics.
Jan 08, Steven rated it it was ok. Crane had a certain fascination with the downtrodden underdogs, assorted drunks, and street characters of his time. I actually find the author more interesting and intriguing as a person than his stories and brief snapshots of a New York City long gone. As for Maggie, the "girl of the streets", I either did not pay enough attention to the details of this bleak tale or just found it depressing for other than "SAD", it did not have much of a pay-off as a story; perhaps writing sad tales was Crane' Crane had a certain fascination with the downtrodden underdogs, assorted drunks, and street characters of his time.
As for Maggie, the "girl of the streets", I either did not pay enough attention to the details of this bleak tale or just found it depressing for other than "SAD", it did not have much of a pay-off as a story; perhaps writing sad tales was Crane's way of dealing with the serious respiratory malady that ultimately killed him in his twenties.
His body was under prolonged attack , but one gets the impression there was a very bright spirit and mind within that frail flesh. He seemed uninterested in writing about socialites or the wealthy but instead had a fascination with the impoverished, the lost souls, the losers and the raw, rough reality of their lives.
Maggie, a girl of the streets and other short fiction
There is plenty of atmosphere to Crane's writing and the characters are quite vivid; it's just a pretty joyless ride, sort of a crumbling sand castle of a volume of stories and observational scenarios. It is pointless to compare Red Badge of Courage to this collection; they almost seem written by two different authors. I can't exactly say I found this book entertaining but it was worth checking out. Nov 19, Tammy rated it it was ok Shelves: own , short-stories , fiction. I found the book to be boring.
tumbgemenzope.ga Most of the stories were meant to give insights into [a group of] people's lives, but did not have much in the way of a plot or conclusion. The story was simple and dull, and the accented speech made it very difficult to parse. The introduction was borin I found the book to be boring. The introduction was boring, but the plot development was interesting. It didn't have much of an ending. Like Maggie, the dialog was difficult to parse. The story was okay, but pointless. It was interesting, but again, not much happens.
These stories were, as with most short story collections, a bit of a mixed bunch. Overall the book was ok, but I felt like I was missing something. Half of the stories just left me feeling confused and like "What the? The title story Maggie started off really well, with Maggie and her brother as children. I thought I was going to enjoy it, but then it jumped ahead to when Maggie was grown up and it just went a bit weird. I liked These stories were, as with most short story collections, a bit of a mixed bunch. I liked The Monster. It was about a black slave who tries to save a boy from a burning building and is badly burnt in the process.
His face is scarred for life, and the story tells how instead of being treated as a hero he is treated like a monster. I also liked His New Mittens which is about a little boy who runs away from home because his mother is angry at him for losing his new mittens.